It is not now, nor has it ever been, my intention to preach gospel. I’m not a religious man. I was raised Catholic but the Catholicism never took. I was always too busy asking questions.
But an integral part of the process of defining exactly what it is that you believe in, of crafting your personal ideology, is to establish a baseline from which all of your philosophies will be drawn. It also helps if you can present that baseline in a form that people can readily understand, using language that people can readily understand.
Thus, we have my version of the Moderate Conservative Ten Commandments:
- Religion, ideology, and philosophy are but the beginning of wisdom, not the end. There is no religion, ideology, or philosophy that renders inert the inherent responsibility to think and reason for yourself, and anyone who tells you there is is lying to you.
- Even the most ordered and organized of societies is the creation of imperfect beings, and will itself be imperfect. Everything has flaws.
- Belief in a higher power does not automatically confer enlightenment upon you, nor is it an unequivocal expression of intelligence. It means nothing more or less than that you believe in a higher power. Be humble.
- All actions have consequences. Some will be intended, others will be unintended. But there will be consequences. And consequences matter.
- With government comes bureaucracy, and bureaucracy comes the Iron Law.
- Life itself is wondrous and majestic, filled with infinite variety and infinite diversity. It is to be embraced in all of its forms.
- The creation of life is nothing less than a miracle. The taking of life, when necessary, must be undertaken with regret, with remorse, and with the utmost respect.
- Wars are not fought by Prime Ministers or by Generals. Wars are fought by 18 year old kids with rifles, a great many of whom don’t make it back home. Their sacrifice is not to be taken lightly, nor are their lives to be spent easily. Beware the fury of the Legions.
- In order to govern with Honor, one must govern responsibly, with openness and diligence.
- It is imperative that not only our laws but also our policies be blind to differences in race, color, creed, ethnic identity, religious belief, gender (or lack thereof), sexuality, or sexual identity. Our laws and the rights that go along with them apply to everybody.